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1919

 

in the headlines
  • A peace conference opens in Versailles, France.
  • Germany adopts a new constitution.
  • A US Navy NC4 seaplane completes the first flight across the Atlantic.
  • In Manchester, England, researches split the atom.
  • The League of Nations is formed.
  • The 18th amendment to the US constitution, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol, comes into force.
  • Benito Mussolini founds the Fasci di Combattimento to fight both liberalism & communism in Italy.

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1919 milepoets

In the United States

  • A total of 1,651,625 passenger cars, nearly double the 1918 figure plus 224,731 trucks. Ford produces 820,445 cars, including the three-millionth Model-T.
  • The top speed for new cars was 40 mph; gas efficiency was 20 miles per gallon.
  • Statistics released by the American Automobile Association show that the main highways of the country total 203,523 miles. New York City's Columbus Circle now holds the record for most traffic passing every hour during rush hours.
  • Nine out of ten American cars built are still open models, mainly touring.
  • Henry Ford announces a cheap (non-Ford) car, a ruse to buy out minority stockholders. After paying $75 million, the Ford family becomes the sole owner of Ford Motor Company. Edsel Ford succeeds his father, Henry Ford, as President.
  • Ford begins to plan Greenfield Village, a museum devoted to rural life and the history of technology.
  • Ford employs over 9,000 disabled workers, far more than any other firm.
  • G. M. extends credit to customers (GMAC).
  • Auto repair shops try a flat-rate pricing system, an idea that will gradually gain acceptance.
  • NADA sponsors the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act to curtail movement of stolen vehicles across state lines.
  • Oregon imposes the first state gasoline tax (1˘ per gallon)
  • New York State’s Knight-Wheelock Bill mandates driving tests for new licenses, a traffic court and revocation of licenses for some offenses.
  • National Association of Taxicab Owners (NATO) founded.
  • Tampa turns DeSoto Park into the first motor camping ground in the South.
  • American Express issues the first traveler’s checks.
  • After 67 years, Studebaker drops carriage-building to focus solely on motor vehicles.
  • Detroit installs the first tri-color stoplight.
  • Young U.S. Army captain Dwight Eisenhower leads a coast-to-coast convoy, which averages less than 9kph (6 mph).
  • Rene Thomas becomes the first driver to break 100 mph (160 kph) at the Indianapolis 800.
  • Coal shortages and strikes worry industry leaders, who aren't sure they can meet the surprisingly strong postwar demand for automobiles.
  • Dealers demand new models, but cars are in short supply - partially due to strikes and rising wages, and material shortages.
  • General Motors buys a majority interest in the Fisher Body Company.
  • Nash acquires interest in the Seaman Body Company.

US Auto Manufacturers

  • Clarence Avery introduced continuous process plate glass at Ford, making cheap closed cars possible.
  • An electric starter becomes available on the Ford Model-T, as do demountable rims to ease tire-changing but only on closed cars. Open cars gained both later.
  • Ford tests ergonomics with a human dummy.
  • Jordan plugs his Playboy car: 'It's a car for a man's man ... or a girl who loves the out-of-doors'.
  • The four-cylinder Essex, the only new car at the 19th National Automobile Show, will almost immediately make the low-cost closed sedan popular.
  • The Hudson-built Essex employs a four-cylinder F-head engine with rocker-actuated intake values and 55 bhp.
  • Auburn's 'Beauty Six' wears a streamlined body & windshield vent wings.
  • A Duesenberg racing car with two straight-eight engines sets a land-speed record at Daytona Beach, reaching 158 mph.
  • Ralph de Palma drives a Packard '905' to a world speed record; 149.8 mph.
  • The most popular 1919 Buick was the H-45 touring car; 44,589 |were built.
  • Chevrolet's $1110 FB Touring car of 1919 rode a 110-inch chassis and wore flowing 'reverse-curve' front fenders.

And From Around the World

  • Hispano-Suiza introduces an aircraft-engine-derived overhead cam engine that will set the pattern for sports cars in the 1920s. It also makes the first power brakes.
  • Isotta-Fraschini makes the first production straight-8 engines.
  • Soviet industrialists planners tour the United States, met Henry Ford.
  • Andre Citroën uses his wartime profits from making artillery shells to start his car company and introduces the Ford-style assembly line to Europe. He produces the Type A, one of the first cars to be produced with bodywork, electric starter, and electric lights.
  • Avus in suburban Berlin, the first European motor parkway.
  • German police kill 17 striking workers in Stuttgart. Worker dissatisfaction is a key reason in Daimler’s decision to abandon Ford production methods.
  • Eccles Transport kicks off the regular manufacture of caravens (mobile homes) in England.

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new makes: 1919

Argonne Four, Briggs & Stratton, Champion,  Cleveland, Climber, DuPont,  Essex, Highlander, Lone Star, Meteor,  Noma, Pan, Porter, Rock Falls, and Spacke

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1919 production figures
1. Ford........................................................820,445
2. Chevrolet.................................................129,118
3. Buick ......................................................119,310
4. Dodge.....................................................106,000
5. Willys-Overland...........................................80,853
6. Oakland.....................................................52,124
7. Maxwell.....................................................50,000
8. Oldsmobile..................................................39,042

Some figures are estimates

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by the numbers
US Population....................................105,063,000
Avg. Income......................................$1,125/year
DOW Avg.....................................................107
New Births...........................................2,919,000
New Home (Median Price)...........................$5,626
New Car (Avg. Cost)....................................$ 826
Gas........................................................25˘/gal
Milk (Qt)......................................................12˘
Bread (Loaf)...................................................9˘
Eggs.....................................................38˘/doz.
Steak (lb).....................................................34˘
Stamp...........................................................3˘

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new in 1919
  • pogo stick
  • American Legion
  • dial telephones
  • gasoline tax
  • Grand Canyon, Zion, & Lafayette (later Acadia)
  • Greyhound racing with mechanical rabbits
  •  Bentley & Citroën cars
  • pulp magazines (True Story)
  • Non-stop crossing of the Atlantic (Newfoundland to Ireland by Alcock & Brown)
  • Commercial airline service (Deutsche Luftreederie)

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